EP 930 US vs. NZ Sauvignon Blanc

Gary Vaynerchuk starts a few head to head blind tastings, trying US wines versus international competitors. He tastes two Sauvignon Blancs and gives his unbiased thoughts!

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc OtagoNew Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
2008 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon BlancSonoma Sauvignon Blanc

Latest Comment:

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘I literally feel like a lawnmower went up my nose and is doing my nosehair’

Both of the wines looked like water, and according to GV, one of them tasted like it too. Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety I can’t drink anymore…think I had too much of it at one stage.

Tags: review, sauvignon blanc, Video, white, wine, wines

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  • Anonymous

    Gary – for the 1,000,000th time it’s TOOCH with a hard “c”, not a soft “c” like you say!

    I’m rooting for the Jets – Eagles can use all the help they can get in the NFC.

  • Anonymous

    LARS! Fellow MN Homie & Old School Vayniak makes an appearance!

    QOTD: Lars’ first appearance was back in December 2006, Episode #151. Actually it was via a link below the episode, a response disputing the Jets win.

    But Lars, I got you beat, I made my first appearance in Episode #117 on October 30, 2006

    Thanks for the great memories and all the great shows Gary (and Lars too!)

    I have seen 930 of 930 episodes. Yes. Really. LOL. Thanks Gary.

  • Excellent show. Love the concept and the non-sequiturs. Lars was funny though I admit I fast forwarded after a minute or so.

    QOTD: I love Sauvignon Blanc and have been drinking a variety from around the world including Loire, US, and NZ though I will admit I am not always blown away by the efforts. In general I find them more food friendly than Chard. Having said all that I think if anything SB is on its way down as a “trendy” grape and am wondering if Torrontes and Semilllon aren’t due for a rise.

  • Anonymous

    BTW One of my favorites is still Episode #128 when Gary’s mom made a Turkey dinner for the episode.

  • DMurph

    Ditto on Austrian SB, a Lackner-Tinnacher for me, too bad they’re hard to find here!

  • DMurph

    Great show despite Norwegian interruption 😉
    Only SB I’ve consumed lately is a great one from Austria; I’m currently too hooked on Gruner to make much room for SB.

  • John__J

    That’s yet another good reason to go back and watch all the episodes any new vayniacs may have missed, as I’ve done. Lars was in episode 151 but I’m sure I’m too late and half the comments have already gotten that by now.

  • Louis del Valle

    Saw that the Jets were playing Monday night, so I thought said hi. Cost me $71 at Cinderella. Hope your kid is doing well.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t had many Sauv Blancs since I discovered I love Rose’…but the last great one I had was Provenance, probably 2007 or 2008. No cat pee, just lovely citrus and star fruit.

    GARY – Hamelia, again? 😉

  • jrouss

    I like sav. blancs. i think that you get pretty good quality for low price (<$20). Still New Zealand is king in this category.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD:Sauvignon Blanc is underrated. I am just about finished fermenting 180 gallons of Long Island Sauvignon Blanc.

  • QOTD;Mix it with juice. I did have a pretty good one for the ‘end of summer’.

  • passion4wine

    To me Sauv. Blanc is very similar to the Malbec question posed earlier, in that to me, it is all over the place and inconsistent. I am more inclined to drink reds so I usually go to my fav. for fish… which is the Henri Bourgeois Sancerre… and then I even tend to lean towards a Charles Heidsieck Champagne before a Sancerre.

  • Anonymous

    Make up your mind! Is i 24-13 or 27-13? 😉

    QOTD: I think Sauvignon Blanc served a very useful (perhaps not to itself) purpose in the white wine world. In the modern wine drinking world I think SB was the first non-Chardonnay white to be recognized. People loved it for it’s spritelyness. When producers realized that consumers would buy something other than Chardonnay the rush was on to re-introduce other white varietals like Vigonier, Pinot Gris, Greuner Vetliner etc. So, Sauvignon Blanc basically created the other white market and their own competition in oe fell swoop.

  • Anonymous

    The state of sauvignon blanc is the fact that I hardly ever want nor buy it. Don’t really care for it all that much. If I buy at all, I only buy Sancerre or Loire Valley in general. It better be high acid and give me my minerality or forget it. Been really trying a lot of different white wines out there outside the usual suspects. Had an ugni blanc and colombard table wine from Gascony the other day that was impressive for $8.

  • I had the Matanzas Creek at a friend’s party, and with the chill, I found it quite tasty. It was also pretty hot that night (we were outside). WTG Cali, and I’m looking forward to the next battles this week.

    QOTD: I love Sancerre, though the last one I had on a quality/price ratio didn’t really do it for me. I have been off the NZ SB bandwagon for a while. Haven’t bought a bottle in years, that I can recall. I will ditto some of the other comments re: the explosion of other white varietals…I find that I am drinking more GruV, Albarino, and Torrontes as of late.

    Lars QOTD: Already answered, but yet another classic appearance.

  • NY Pete

    damn Matt
    just tell him it rhymes with douche
    that way he will remember your name forever

  • Anonymous

    The State of the Union of Sauvignon Blanc is : The best of the best, on several continents (!) is mostly made in small/ limited production quantities, but fortunately, many of the near-top choices can be had for around $30, and often less! From the several famous Loire appellations, And White Bordeaux from Graves. Names like Talbot, & Olivier jump to mind. In Cali, Selene (Mia Klein), Crocker & Starr, Emmolo, Daydream (Kiken/Reverie), and tons of others are top notch. In Chile, Conch’s Terrunyo ($20) label has been amazing me for over 10 years! Even Vina Morande has produced several tiers of superlative quality. I love NZ, but won’t even bother – people just keep buying mediocre industrial brands, and legacy names. For them, really good quality is upwards of $20. Spend it, it’s worth having really good representation of your varietal (love SB, and it’s range/versatility), instead of drinking mediocre examples. I can’t stand mediocre, and will drink good beer/ale, instead of mediocre wine, every time.

  • Anonymous

    Most recently, had Grand Bateau, from the owners (but not the property per/se) of Chateau Beycheville. Partial barrel ferment, and sur lie age. Rich, complex, and a very diff animal than grassy/acid freak I was anticipating.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’m not sure about the state of sauvignon blanc, it’s not a varietal I go out and buy very often for myself but I’ll start checking it out so I can make some contributions in the future. I hope your Jets get the win tonight. I can’t stand Brett Favre.

  • Zino

    NZ has had a good run, but there’s too much of it being made and they’ve become predictable. Still some good ones around though – best one I’ve had recently is Pegasus Bay Sauv/sem. A good Sancerre is hard to beat though with this varietal. Some good Bordeaux whites. Chile is good value, but I think South Africa does the best New World Sauv.

  • Anonymous

    Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Chile is the future.

  • NY Pete

    J … E … T … S … JETS JETS JETS!

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t had an inspiring SB in a while. Although I have been spoiled ever since I was lucky enough to taste the Didier Dagueneau Pur Sang from Pouilly Fume. I did have one from Kathryn Hall the other day that was pretty good. Congrats to your Jets GV…they just won as I am writing this. I am sorry to see my Braves season come to an end. My hat is off to Bobby Cox.

  • Anonymous

    Had a great time watching as usual.

    QOTD: Haven’t had a lot of SB’s as of late. I still remember the greatest grassy ones from Loire.

    I had just a few from New Zealand and they didn’t rock my socks off.

    I guess I’m waiting for Pacific NW SB’s to come alive big time.

    Thanks again. Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    QOTD -It’s the Bordeaux blancs Semillon with Sauvignon blanc that are ruling the roost but not cheap. An example being Chateau La Louviere . The Loire valley is still hanging in there with Delaille as a good example of inexpensive quality. It’s not super complex but for 12 bones it is awesome in my book.
    P S Gary, your peeks into the Library family rock!!!

  • Sir Lurk’s-Alot

    …never try to follow kids and animals….

    Republic Sav. B (S.Africa) or perhaps Kiwi Sav. B. (french) $6 and$4 drinking well above their price points.

  • Anonymous

    Ah yes. I love Neal Ellis Sincerely Sauvignon Blanc.

  • Lars

    Congrats, Wine Guy. Ouch. See you in da Super Bowl.

  • Anonymous

    Ah men brother!

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc is out, Malbec is in. Way too much SB is being produced, especially from NZ, meanwhile California is oaking the h#ll out of it, and like you saw in wine #2, overall it’s just getting watered down and uninteresting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a bottle every now & again, just nowhere near what I did two years ago.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc is out, Malbec is in. Way too much SB is being produced, especially from NZ, meanwhile California is oaking the h#ll out of it, and like you saw in wine #2, overall it’s just getting watered down and uninteresting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a bottle every now & again, just nowhere near what I did two years ago.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc is out, Malbec is in. Way too much SB is being produced, especially from NZ, meanwhile California is oaking the h#ll out of it, and like you saw in wine #2, overall it’s just getting watered down and uninteresting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a bottle every now & again, just nowhere near what I did two years ago.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc is out, Malbec is in. Way too much SB is being produced, especially from NZ, meanwhile California is oaking the h#ll out of it, and like you saw in wine #2, overall it’s just getting watered down and uninteresting. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a bottle every now & again, just nowhere near what I did two years ago.

  • Ed R

    I haven’t had a good sb in long time.Back when I started watching you in the beginning I thought they were great and a bargain. However, things seemed to get out of whack price wise. I thought it was in my over priced long island area, but I guess not.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Ah Sav Blanc. Our favorite during the warm summer months. We were big NZ fans, but I think you’re right, as the price has gone up the perceived taste and enjoyment has gone down. We’ve actually turned to getting whatever sub-10 bone wines from Trader Joe’s as we go through a number of bottles during the summer. Finding much more interesting California SB’s when they aren’t over oaked but have more complexity. Perhaps because they treated us well at our visit, Honig is one of our favorites.

  • Anonymous

    The supermarket next door has an excellent SauvBlanc for 6.50?, so for me everything is fine. Also I didn’t note the big explosion, NZ wines don’t make such a wave in Europe, maybe people are hesitant due to ecology and all?

  • Gregb

    Big G, It’s been awhile for my comments, but working really hard on changing careers and I’ve been all about the hustle. Anyway, loved the Episode and surprised that the US pulled this one off.

    QOTD: The word is out, Sauv Blancs are great and people are really starting to pay attention. That will always bring the price up.

    P.S. I still can’t wait for our matchup Dec 26th. I think Bears at home pull out the upset.

  • Enjoyed the ep! Lars kid was awesome.
    QOTD: Sauvignon blanc = zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Matanzas Creek IS good.. Rarely drink SB though (the good ones are pricey, such as Duckhorn and Illumination).. A good value SB is Brander from Santa Ynez Valley ..
    Can’t wait to try some Sancerre to see what the fuss is about.

  • King of Pape

    I went on a Chenin Blanc kick and then “the summer of Riesling” started. Somewhere in there I found the Arbois. Sooo I guess I have lost touch with Sav Blanc. Glad to hear I am not missing much. I feel like a Chinon phase might be brewing with the seasons turning colder, driving into a crushing winter of Nebiolo. Still no Sav Blanc on my horizon.

  • Rimarfish

    QOTD: I probably buy one or two bottles per week in average, of New Zealand S.B. Seriously, I can’t get enought of it, and I’ve been saying this for the last 3 years. I think they are so flavorful, so delicious and so underpriced. And great with food!!! New Zealand is just the right place to grow them…amazing. My favorite at the moment if the generic Brancott for $9. It’s just amazing for the price…I’m willing to pay up to $25 for those under $10 ones…the deal of the century!

  • Anonymous

    You could say the same about EVERY varietal.

  • Allan

    Classic Episode; some rambling, random thoughts, camera going crazy, Jets, a little vino, a few giggles, Lars rocked it!

    This was a crowdpleaser episode, keep em comin’…! 😛

    Qotd: SB is still one of my favourites, when it’s FREEEEEEEESSSHHH!!! And i think Chile is the future of SB, Terrunyo SB is a modern classic & Concha’s sister winery Cono Sur, pumps out the 20 Barrels SB which is really crunchy & quite impressive for my palate anyhow.

    Jets 20 – Vikings 14. Go Jets! 😛

  • Anonymous

    Like all varietals, Sauvignon is represented by a sea of insipid, characterless examples; those that are truly profound/noteworthy (Spottswoode, Rudd, Vineyard 29) are either very limited (and thus impossible to find), very expensive (such as Lail’s “Georgia” cuvee at $100 a bottle, more or less), or both. I would like to see more use of the varietal as Semillion/Sauv blends such as in Bordeaux, but good examples of that wouldn’t be cheap, and more likely, we’ll just end up with more “Conundrum” clones. Sigh.

  • philoxera

    Lars is better!

  • Anonymous

    qotd: at least in my world, it’s a good place to go for an inexpensive food wine. There are lots of good, cheap sauvignon blancs imo (babich, matua) with nice acidity that hold up to all sorts of food. Past that though, I have no idea about the high end of sauvignon blancs.

    Quick note on a wine steal. Picked up a case of a super cheap chianti today after trying it over the weekend. Called stellina di notte chianti 2007. $7 and drinkable. Not mind blowing by any means, but a simple, well balanced, solid tuscan style wine. Better than a lot of $20 chianti classicos I’ve had.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, I’m back and forth over Chilean SB. I’ve had some nice ones, but I’ve had way too many that were just water. I am a bit of a sucker for the NZ juice I have to admit.

    Q: How do Kiwi’s find their sheep in tall grass?
    A: delightful

  • thunderball (Dave in Japan)

    Yikes, shocking defeat for NZ! Perhaps if more of those Kiwi lurkers (such as one Mr. Aubin in Christchurch…the worst of a bad lot) were called out things might change in the future? 🙂 Good episode sir.

  • Hotspur75

    To me, the Loire is still the place for SB. You can find numerous producers that will extract the typical aromas of apples+pairs, camomile+honey, grass+hay, and the chalky minerality. But once you’ve had an SB by E. Vatan or Cotat, it’s hard to go back to basic quality. I’ve had some pretty good stuff from biodynamic producers, too.


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